I’m switching sides in the great EMDR bilateral debate. While I diligently taught eye movements in my EMDR basic training, I tended to use theratappers or knee taps with the majority of my clients. In all cases, the traumas cleared, the clients integrated their experiences, and we installed their new awarenesses ("It’s over." "I’m safe." "I’m great!" etc.) and their new body feelings (relief, joy, present-time being, etc.) So touch works well for most people. Why not stay with it?
Since I’ve been doing Brainspotting, which involves helping clients hold focus from one or both eyes on a particular place, I’ve watched clients go deeper, more quickly, than in any other technique. While assisting at and then consulting for an EMDR basic training, I’ve been watching the difference between people who got tapped on and people who got waved at. The eye movements worked faster. It was hard not to coach the students into turning their EMDR sessions into Brainspotting classes. Instead, I’ll tell them to go to David Grand’s class in Seattle in May.
So, for garden variety EMDR, I’m going to suggest using eye movements over any other bilateral modality. After witnessing 18 EMDR sessions in 2 days, I think the "eyes" have it.
In my current practice, I’m doing Brainspotting with 95% of my traumatized patients. Most of them are listening to bilateral music on headsets. A few are holding theratappers, while I find the spots. One is using the "spotting" only, which seems to lessen the "flooding" of emotions and images, while he clears trauma.
If there are any opinions from other people, I’d love to hear them.